Bette Davis picked up a justified “late-career” Academy Award nomination (her eighth) for her role as Margo Channing, a famous Broadway actress just past the ripe old age of 40, who fears a career decline. Showbiz timing being what it is, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), an up-and-coming young actress, swoops in to remind Margo of the clock. The two develop a relationship as star and understudy, but as Eve not-so-subtly undermines Margo’s career—including befriending theater critic Addison DeWitt (George Sanders in an Oscar-winning turn), shacking up with Margo’s playwright friend Lloyd Richards (Hugh Marlowe), and interfering with Margo’s beau Bill Sampson (Gary Merrill)—her own star begins to ascend, revealing her true motives and underlining the cutthroat world of both Broadway and Hollywood. All About Eve, perhaps the quintessential film not only about the crisis of age and beauty, but also about how to protect oneself from life’s interlopers, is “endlessly quotable…not so much laugh-out-loud funny as it is scalding.”—Farran Smith Nehme, The Self-Styled Siren.
Appears in: Bette & Joan
Other Films by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Humphrey Bogart plays Harry Dawes, a recovering alcoholic film director who plucks simple nightclub dancer Maria Vargas (Ava Gardner) out of obscurity and turns her into an international movie star. The influential Roman fashion designers the Fontana Sisters created Gardner’s costumes, including the iconic and controversial “pretino” (based on a priest’s cassock and complete with …